www.rochesteropenwaterchallenge.com It seems the eft has been kicked out of blackburn because it is same class with with t-bolt even though t-bolt is 2in narrower and about 1 mph faster. Therefore rochester, on lake ontario seems like a great place to be on june 27. I might also bring glider in case it is really blowing sideways.
Seems like they are ganging up on the eft. I guess if you can
t beat them then make it where they go somewhere else.<br /> I guess they should class each boat where they only race the exact boat!!<br /> I dont live up there but what goes up there effects races everywhere.
I paddled a race in Dallas and they kicked the 2 EFT`s out of the sea kayak class and put both of them in a class by themselves.
Putting the Eft in the open class is crazy,I guess Doug has made the wrong person mad
I was tickled pink to see that.
Not for your reasoning, but for the fact that now the the Epic 18’s, the QCC 700’s, the Chatham’s and the rest of the “real” sea kayaks don’t have to unfairly race against the EFT’s
The EFT’s never should have been in with them to start with.
I like the change.
Well I got beat last year by a Qcc while I was paddling my Eft, I wonder what happened I must be pretty bad or that guy cheated!!
I think there should be a over 50 yrs old class and a over 200 lb class and maybe if you have hair or not class.
I think it comes down to training and skill. Some of the
s and K-1s are faster than others but I don
t see those guys whining about one boat is a little faster.<br /> The 18X,The Marlin and the Eft are all about the same and they are fast but dont belong in the open class.
I have a race in a couple weeks that put all kayaks in one class which is not fair. I know I can
t beat one guy on his Speedster ski unless he falls off.<br /> I will go and have fun hoping for second or third, I dont what the guys are going for that have 14 ft rec boats,maybe fun??
I think that a eft with bulkheads is a sea kayak as much as a Seda Glider or Qcc.
I hope they start weighing the paddler and the boat and start classing them that way so I might win some fat old men races
race unlimited class
the other classes are a joke. it all turns into a question of who can get which cheater boat into a given class. the eft is far closer to the tbolt in speed than to the 700.
For what it is worth:
I know if I was timed in A EFT and a QCC 700 over the same course and in the same conditions, I would be faster in the EFT.
Could have been you had a bad day!
'Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing’
is how I refer to the EFT. Had a QCC700 and also now have an Epic 18. Funny, when I was shopping for a FSK, one friend turned up his nose at the EFT claiming it a ‘cheater boat’ and guilting me into the QCC. The EFT is definitely faster for me over the same closed course. It’s a toss up in a cage match between the Q tip and the Epic 18. The 18x is probably pretty close to the EFT, if not on a par.
Now, the shoe’s on the other foot-the EFT runs with the 'Bolts up to a point, then the greater glide of the 'Bolt takes over and the EFT (and paddler) run out of breath. Actually, the same thing happens in the Unlimited class with the skis-the shorter, wider skis are just a whole lot more work in flatter conditions. I’ve resigned myself to lower placings until I can gain the requisite skills to ride a big dog with the other big dogs. It’s all fun regardless.
but with the skis or the other unlimited boats, the issue is stability, not boat speed. so, in my mind at least, the issue is paddler skill, not the boat. if i lose to someone who is capable of paddling a tippier, faster boat, so be it- they’re the better paddler. similarly, if i have the more stable boat but win because the conditions were too gnarly for the tippy boat, that’s conditioning and skill, not the boat. when you are dealing with boats where stability isn’t the issue, then it does become a question of whose hull is faster, and that drives me nuts (and leads to arms races, like we saw a few years ago in the fsk class).
I agree with all of you!
My favorite example is when a lady was having such a bad year and was the only woman who was in a kayak. They made a class just for her and canton,ny gave her a first place prize. With death and sickness in her family, she said it was the first good thing that happened to her that year. Or they could have said,"You race your short plastic boat against the men in race boats and she would have finished last. The best answer is to realize kayak racing should be fun. Saw an old pallet and make lots of first place prizes and we will show up against next year.
then “real” kayaks such as Q700
and have a 16ft plastic class and rec class for shorter distance! The all are happy and pay 5 bucks per gallon to show up again next year.
10 years of change - Not for the Better
The EFT was always in the Unlimited Class until about 5 or 6 years ago when the USCA created their new 20 ft class reverse engineered to the EFT's specs. It was a gift to the EFT at the expense of many other models paddled by many other people.
About 8 or 9 years ago you could show up at a race and compete relatively fairly in the same boat you paddled everyday in the ocean in. The QCC700, Seda Glider, Greenlander Pro, Looksha, Epic Endurance, were some of the popular fast sea kayaks of the day. Many of us that now paddle surfskis got our start racing in these popular fast sea kayaks.
Then the USCA made a play to become the organization to govern sea kayak racing. They created an 18 ft sea kayak class spec that defined water line length, waterline beam, and disastrously in my opinion also overall length and overall beam. Suddenly most of the popular sea kayaks that many of us paddled were made obsolete and were thrown into the Unlimited class with T-Bolts and surfskis. The only exception was the Epic Endurance which just happenned to still fit the USCA dimensions.
I and others expressed our dismay to the USCA. We offered suggestions, some even wrote more inclusive specs, some suggested that the USCA simply adopt the Sound Rowers Specs that base classes logically on waterline dimensions only. So the following year the USCA committee met again to discuss what to do about all the poopular sea kayaks that they had made obsolete. Many of us werer hopeful they would fix the problem they created for sea kayaks.
I, along with at least two other designers awaited the results of the USCA meeting, fully expecting them to fix their 18 ft class in a way that would bring all the popular sea kayaks back into the fold. We were shocked when, rather than fix the 18 ft class, they created a 20 ft class which they claimed gave all the obsolete sea kayaks a new class to compete in. But we all saw through this. All they did was create a new class where there was only one boat that could be competitive, the EFT.
The USCA was obviously heading down a path similar to their canoe classes: Basically "One Design" type classes where all the kayaks would look nearly identical. They now had the 18 ft class that was designed around the Epic Enduarance 18 and the 20 ft class which was designed around the EFT. To everyone else, they in effect said, too bad so sad.
One of my design buddies, decided to discontinue his project to design a USCA boat. The other designed and built a pretty slick 20 ft boat. I stuck with my 18 ft boat because there was still room to optimize it to be faster than the Epic Endurance 18 AND also make it fit the Sound Rowers FSK class. I instructed John Winters to do his magic with the new dimensions and general shape guidelines I provided him with. I wanted to be the first to show the USCA what their specialized "sea Kayak" class would look like. I knew within a year or two all USCA kayaks would need to look like my boat to be competitive.
The resulting boat won the USCA championships with Steve Roseneau paddling. It won again the following year in both the marathon and sprint classes. I think it won again a year later. It was not long until Epic came out with a new USCA optimized boat called the 18X. Then recently KayakPro also came out with a USCA optimized boats called the Nemo or Marlin. They are all nearly clones.
These three competitive USCA specialized craft are significantly faster and more efficient than the Greenlander Pro, Looksha,QCC700, Seda Glider, and other sea kayaks that are forced to race in a FASTER class.
So the USCA has fulfilled its mission to create basically two "One Design" classes: the 18 ft for the new breed of clones and the 20 ft for the EFT. I assume this was their mission because many of us outside observers predicted exactly this would happen years ago. You would have to be pretty dense not to see it coming. Some of us had enough of this class crap over the years and moved into surfskis, T-Bolts and other unlimited boats. Some of us just got out of racing altogether. What is worse is that many more novice and intermediate paddlers never started racing during this preriod.
The big problem is that there is no longer a strong group of real sea kayakers coming to races anymore. The guy who would buy that cruiser/racer that he could paddle in the ocean everyday does not have a fair place in a USCA class race. To bother coming to a race in todays USCA sea kayak class you have to invest in an Epic 18X or an EFT. These specialized craft are not the kind of good all around boat that the newer athletic paddler would choose to buy unless racing was their only objective. The guy who might have tried racing in his fast sea kayaks on a whim (That was me 8 years ago) does not bother showing up on race day anymore.
The Blackburn Challenge seems to recognize this problem. They have always been very inclusive to as many boats as possible. The exclusivity of the USCA class specs seems to go against the philosophy of the Blackburn Challenge. The Blackburn seems committed to get more regular sea kayakers to come back to racing. I applaud the Blackburn for adopting the Sound Rowers Specs. The Sound Rowers specs bases their classes on the only thing that matters, waterline dimensions.
I'm sorry that some who paddle an Epic 18X or EFT feel slighted. Far many more of us felt the same way only 7 or 8 years ago when the USCA made all of our popular models obsolete. Truthfully the Epic 18X and the EFT are much closer to the unlimited boats than they are to the Seda Glider, Greenlander Pro, QCC700 etc...
Frankly, if you are good enough to paddle an 18X or an EFT in the ocean, then you are good enough to paddle a surfski or T-Bolt. So I say you should step on up and get a real Unlimited kayak to race in. Let's leave the Sea Kayak class to the novices and intermediates who might want to try racing just for the fun of it. That was me and I know it was many of you at one time too. We just may hook a few of them to take performance paddlinge more seriously. I sure hope we do because this will be the next generation of unlimited class open water paddlers.
I Agree Alfope
I agree Alfope. Probably the best solution is no classes at all. Come one, come all. All kayks start and race together. If we want more trophies then divide the classes into more age groups.
I hope some of the USCA officials read it and don’t just turn their noses up at it.
Do the people in the unlimited class complain which boat is fastest?? Surely they are not all the same.
As explained above, the only real constraint in the Unlimited class is paddler skill. The faster boats tend to be less stable and require a more skilled paddler to use them to their potential. There are no "rule-beater" boats because there are no artificial rules to beat. Competitors will readily acknowledge that some boats are faster than others, but they rarely complain about it. It's not like bicycles -- a competitive Unlimited ski doesn't cost any more than a good touring kayak.
I don’t know why some paddlers spend so much time stewing about why there boat is or is not in a certain class. The boats shouldn’t be classified at all - the paddlers should be. Then everyone simply races the fastest hull that they can keep upright.
Those that paddle the unlimiteds don’t complain - they understand that it’s a race of paddlers, not boats. Those in touring sea kayaks don’t complain and don’t even care how they do - they just want to have a nice day on the water.
The trouble seems to be with the hyper-competitive paddlers who want to race the sea kayak tourers in dumbed-down racing hulls in a made up class that gives them an unfair advantage.
Nuke the boat classification scheme. Simply have age groups OR beginner, intermediate, advanced classes. Though the latter might be hard on some egos.
"Age Groups " ha, ha, love it !
Take a look at the upcoming nationals age classifications.
My wife and I paddle a tandem racing canoe.
We are in our seventies.
The age classifications go all the way up to the eighties for the mens C-2 and I think it went into the seventies for the womens C-2.
For the mixed I think they stopped at 45 and over.
I sent them an E-mail about it, and the answer I got was they didn’t believe that there would be that many older couples that would show up. My answer to that is how do they know? Of course you are not going to have older couples show up when they have age classifications for everyone except them.
It’s odd that in the Adirondak 90 miler they have a good group of mixed C-2’s in the older class in both stock and racing
I guess they can’t please all of us.
Only Two Key Kayak Classes
To me, I should only be two key kayak classes:
ICF boats for flat water (rivers) & surfski/unlimited for open water (ocean). Only these two classes should earn a National title. The current USCA Sea Kayak National Champion is a joke. What kind of Sea Kayak National champ one can be while one is racing on flat water -give me a break!
In addition, there should be a very inclusive "touring" class (like in most European countries) for both flat and open water races. However, the winning of these divisions, should only be divisional winner and not champs.
The USCA and Kayaking
People have to understand that USCA (United States Canoe Association) is that a "canoe" association not a kayak or paddling one. An association created by and for canoeist that allow paddlers to race kayaks. The USCA needs the dollars coming from kayakers (kayak racing is becoming way more popular than canoe racing), but the USCA and its oldtimers are having a hard time to adapt to it.
As in everything, there are a few exceptions. People paddling hard against the current! People like Pam B. and other have been working very hard to change this reality, and I am pretty sure, it is not easy due to kayakers within the USCA do not have the political power to generate changes that are not in agreement with the canoeist views and expectation.
I was (no one told me) at the 2005 USCA meeting held in Warren, PA, and it was clear that canoeists vote the destiny of kayakers. At the end of the day, very few elite marathon kayakers, show up at the USCA National.
Just my view,
...PS: to me, the USACK team trial should be also the US Marathon National -the only race in the US where most if not all of the elite marathon paddlers race. Thus, if one race the team trail and comes in 10th place, one places 10th in the Nation.
The more you focus on the boats, either as an excuse for not winning or as a reason for winning, then the more you will focus on the boats. It’s a self-supporting cycle. It should be beginner, intermediate, advanced, or cat 1,2,3,4 or A,B,C, etc.
The USCA kayak nationals will never be very important to top racers because of the same reason - they are too focused on the boat classes.
Can you imagine how lame the USCF (bicycling) nationals would be if they held their road races and time trials for; classes with aero bars and aero wheels, and classes for those without aero equipment; for those with unlimited gear choices (chainrings and cogs), and for those who choose to put smaller gears on their bikes; separate classes for those who want to race their carbon bikes and classes for those who want to race their touring bikes with panniers and maybe a trailer, etc. “Hi, I’m the limited gear touring bike with trailer national champion.” It would be a joke and the USCF would lose all their credibility and the top racers would stop coming and you’d end up having an annual nationals of ever expanding classes to make it as fair and democratic to everyone and to every different brand and model of kayak and paddle in the world. 100 classes and 1 person in each class. And everyone would get a first place trophy.
The USCA, if they want to be a credible governing body, needs to keep it simple with classes and form a foundation on which to build. Have a flatwater nationals - classify the paddlers. Have a rough water nationals - classify the paddler. Let paddlers use whatever boat they want to.
wait a minute
you mean i could have been the “road touring mountain bike with slick tires and full paniers” national champion? i’ve been robbed!!